The first thing readers should know is that Sudhir Venkatesh is a sociologist. This is made clear in the title of his previous book: Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Crosses the Line. Like the acclaimed writer Katherine Boo, Venkatesh is interested in deep research, in spending years with subjects and piecing together a detailed portrait. Unlike Boo, Venkatesh is present in his books. He has crossed the line and entered the scene. The pronoun “I” is the first word of both Gang Leader for a Day and his new book, Floating City.